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  • For the last few months, the FT has been following the progress of three Syrian refugees into Germany

  • Nazir Wakil, Abudalaziz Dyab, and Ahmad Al Soliman

  • All three are fleeing civil war and had applied for asylum in Germany

  • Two had their applications accepted but Ahmad Al Soliman is still waiting to find out what his fate will be

  • His application for asylum was rejected, because in 2014, he was fingerprinted and registered against his will by police in Hungary

  • Which means Germany can claim that's where he should be living

  • This is his ID card. The red line indicates that he must leave the country if his appeal fails

  • So let's use Ahmad's case to look at how the asylum system is working in Germany

  • Germany's federal office for migration and refugees, the BAMF, publishes monthly stats on the number of applications made for asylum, and the number of asylum decisions made by the authorities

  • So you can think of this as a kind of process

  • Applications go in, decisions come out, which means a backlog can build up

  • In January 2014, there were over 14,000 applications, and more than 10,000 decisions

  • Let's look at how that picture changed over the next year and a half

  • Here are the number of decisions being made each month

  • You can see it's building over time

  • But here are the number of applications

  • Whenever the red line is hiding the blue line, it means there are more applications coming in than there are decisions coming out

  • By August 2016, that difference had grown to more than 40,000

  • At the beginning of 2014, the backlog was just under 100,000 pending applications

  • The number of pending applications has never dropped since February 2014

  • By August 2016, that number had grown to more than 565,000 applications

  • Now that Ahmad's case is being rejected, he's appealing in court

  • In the first half of this year, there were more than 32,000 asylum appeal cases heard by the courts

  • Fewer than 5% of them ended in a positive ruling in favor of the applicant

  • Ahmad is still waiting to hear what his outcome will be

For the last few months, the FT has been following the progress of three Syrian refugees into Germany

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